Grounding Techniques

These techniques can help us deal with overwhelming anxiety, pain or emotions.

Here are a few examples of grounding techniques:

  1. Do an activity that requires focus and attention, to help calm you mind and body.
  2. Think about a safe place/activity from your life, that reminds you of a time when you felt safe and calm; try to remember in your mind and body how that felt.
  3. Breathe slowly and steadily from your belly, as best you can, and imagine letting go of pain as you breathe out.
  4. Stroke your hands over your body; be aware the physical sensations as you do this, and try to reassure and calm yourself as you do this.
  5. Pay attention to your senses:what can you see, hear, smell, taste or feel?
  6. Move: try walking, stretching, bending and pay attention to how your body feels.
  7. Try holding yourself and rocking yourself, soothing yourself with words or touch.
  8. Use your voice: try talking or reading aloud.
  9. Write down how you are feeling and what you are thinking.
  10. Some people who have thoughts of suicide have found it helpful to keep a diary of situations or events that might contribute to them thinking about suicide. Keeping track of these ‘triggers’ can help you think about how to respond to them as soon as possible to try to avoid becoming suicidal. The Wellness Plan gives you an example of how you could think about ways to deal with triggers as they come up.
  11. If you have had thoughts of suicide in the past, or have attempted suicide in the past, it can be useful to ask yourself the question: ‘What did I learn from that situation that could help me now?’. Writing down your ideas about this could remind you of strengths and supports that might be valuable to you now.

Finally, you could try imagining a friend of yours is struggling with thoughts of suicide in the same way that you are. How would you try and support them? What would you say to them? How would you show them that you care? Perhaps you can show some of the same kindness and compassion towards yourself.